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dissolved - yes, and in the very act of dissolving (so at least to me it appears), unable to hide them from the allsearching eye of their Judge, it will give up its dead to be finally punished, to be cast into the lake of fire for ever. After which, out of identically the same materials, those atoms of which it was formed at first, now tho-, roughly purged from the least trace of mortality, even to a dead leaf or an insect, the new everlasting earth will be formed. This I believe to be an explanation of the following passage: “I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled

away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and Death and Hades (aons) delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works: and Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away:

and there was sea" (Rev. xx. 11, etc.) "With regard to this passage, if it were otherwise than what I have stated above-if this earth is to be annihilated, instead of being dissolved, and then made anew, as I have said, the power of Christ in redemption would, in this instance, be foiled. But no, it will not; I believe it cannot be so. This earth, just as much as our bodies, is redeemed by His blood; and hence, though dissolved, like the body, when sown in corruption, like the body again, when raised in His likeness, it will know in the end the full power of His resurrection. Hence the new earth, and, let me add, the new heavens, in like manner, will be the very same heavens and earth which we see around us at present, purged by the fires of the last day from every trace of corruption and death.

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And here, in conclusion, I would offer what to me seems an explanation of the two above passages. First, “ Death and Hades (Qons) delivered up the dead which were in them” (Rev. xx. 13): secondly, “ Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. xx. 14). Hades, we know, is the place of the soul in its unclothed and separate state--the grave that of the body while under the power of death. This passage then applies, as I take it, to their re-union and final destruction—I mean of the bodies and souls of the wicked. The body (Death's prisoner) being called forth from the grave (death here by a figure being put for the grave), the soul, on the other hand, being summoned from Hades, to be united for ever, and for ever tormented.

Such is the doom of this world. Filled, as it is, with itself, its wisdom, its glory, its many inventions, such is its terrible end. Such, however, is not the lot of the righteous. We, even we (blessed thought !) are the children of God, joint-heirs also with Him who is Heir of all things both in heaven and in earth, and, as such, conquerors, like Him, over Death and the Grave. Well. , then, may we, as we turn from the thought of the judgment which is to finish the drama of this world's history, and look up to heaven, our birth-place, our home, where we are to dwell for ever with Him — well, then, I say, with such a hope in our souls, may we echo the sweet words of the poet, and sing

His be the victor's name

Who fought the fight alone ;
Triumphant saints no honour claim,

Their conquest was His own.
He, hell, in hell, laid low :

Made sin, He sin o'erthrew :
Bow'd to the grave, and killed it som

And death, by dying, slew.
Bless, bless the Conqueror slain,

Slain by divine decree;
Who lived, who died, who lives again,
For thee, His saint, for thee.

E. D.

N. VII.

THE MANNA DESPISED.

Numbers, xi. and xxi. TWICE do we read of Israel despising the provision which God in His grace made for their necessities in the desert. The record of both instances, we have in the book of Numbers--the book of the wilderness. The cases, however, are distinct; and while both exhibit the evil of the flesh, it is in different ways that they develop this; and God's treatment of the one is distinct from His treatment of the other.

We have the history of the first in Numbers xi. Israel had not then been long out of Egypt: and it was the recollection of Egypt which induced them to despise the manna.

A mixed multitude, as we read in Exodus, xii. 38, had accompanied them in their journey. Attached to the redeemed nation by the influence of circumstances and the action of motives natural to fallen man, they were strangers to the grace which had chosen Israel from among the nations, and to the hopes which were theirs as the chosen and redeemed of the Lord. To them, Canaan, and the presence and grace of that God who had promised it to His people as their inheritance, were nothing. All they wished, all they hoped, was to better their own condition by attaching themselves to this wonderful people. And when they found that they had but exchanged the indulgences of Egypt for the toil and travail of the wilderness, with provision, to them tasteless and unsatisfying, they regretted what they had done. And it was with them that the dissatisfaction and murmuring began. “And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting.” Would that the evil had stopped there? But“ the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick. But now

our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all beside this manna, before our eyes.” They too remembered Egypt. Once, indeed, the hard bondage they suffered there made them think little of the fish and cucumbers and melons. Their chains pressed so heavily that they could only groan for deliverance. Their groanings were heard and God brought them forth with high hand and with out-stretched arm. Then the joy of their deliverance filled their hearts, and they sang the praises of their Deliverer. But now they have forgotten the chains which made their food bitter to them in Egypt, and they have forgotten too, alas, that which at first so filled their hearts with gladness, the grace of their Redeemer and the wonders of their redemption, and they only remember the fish and the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions and the garlick which they ate in Egypt freely! Such, alas! is man. Such was Israel; and can we not, beloved brethren, say from our hearts, such have we proved ourselves to be as well? How common is such a process as this. First of all, the world's pleasures fill and madden the heart and make it insensible to the chains wherewith Satan binds and leads us captive at his will. Light from God breaks in; we become on the one hand conscious of impending judgment; on the other, sensible of the slavery in which Satan holds us. Of ourselves, from ourselves, there is no escape either from the one or from the other. The world's pleasures cease to entice us. The terrible realities of our condition engross our thoughts and all we can do is to groan for deliverance. That deliverance is vouchsafed. The blood of the slain Lamb becomes our refuge from the judgment which hung over us;

and the resurrection of Jesus assures us that the power of the Enemy is set aside for ever; that he who had the power of death has no further claim on us. It proclaims, moreover, that God is for us, and enables us triumphantly to ask, Who can be against us. The joy of this takes the place in our hearts which the world once held, and we gladly leave all to follow the pillar of cloud and fire across the desert to the promised land. And there are those who follow to the end without ever so much as looking back. Caleb and Joshua were such in their day. Paul too, in his day was borne onward by an energy of faith which not only counted all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ, when that knowledge first broke in upon his soul, but which enabled him twenty or thirty years after to say, I " do count them but dung that I may win Christ.' And in this energy of faith he went forward to the end. But how rare is this. How common the sin and experience of the Israelites in the case under consideration. It may be that in the first place“ false brethren" fall a lusting like the mixed multitude who accompanied Israel out of Egypt. But how ready is the flesh in believers to follow the example of those, who, while professing godliness, are strangers to its power. Egypt's chains no longer embitter Egypt's food. The joy of the first apprehensions of Christ and of the redemption He has accomplished no longer satisfy the soul. Some who bear the name of Christ return to this or that worldly compliance or fleshly indulgence; and how ready we all are to follow. We too remember the pleasures from which we had been weaned; and while the heart craves for these the manna is sure to be despised. “There is nothing at all besides this manna, before our eyes.” Time was, when to feed on Christ was all we wished. The first to be thought of in the morning, the last at night, and the only one of our hearts the day through. And all that we then felt needful to complete our joy was to be with Him where He is—not merely enjoying Him through faith by the Spirit, but beholding Him face to face, and dwelling with Him in the embraces of His love for ever. But when the world's joys begin to be remembered, how different the estimate of Christ

Nothing at all but this manna before our eyes." But God has His remedy for failure like this in His saints. He has the answer of His grace, too, to the weakness of those who sigh to witness such failure, but lack the faith which would count on His unfailing resources to meet it. Moses sinks under the burden. 66 Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh that we may eat.

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